What To Do If You’re Being Catfished: A Step By Step Guide
You’ve been dating and talking to someone online and you start getting a feeling that things may not be all peachy and you’re getting some signs that you might be catfished. The person that you’re talking to has an extravagant life. They travel a lot, have a great job and are great looking but, all of the sudden, something dramatic happens and they either need money, won’t talk you to on Skype or plans to meet always seem to fall through.
If this is you, you might be getting catfished. Catfishing is a scheme where someone acts like someone else to dupe or scam someone online. It usually involves love and the motives of the person doing the catfishing are always selfish. If this seems like you, here are some things that you can do to avoid getting ripped off, scammed or embarrassed by friends and family because you fell for a scam.
Step #1: First Verify if You’re Really Being Catfished
Don’t jump the gun before you really know. You don’t want to end a possible good relationship but, you don’t want to ignore the signs either. If you’ve already verified that you’ve been catfished, move to step 2. If you’re still not sure, make sure you use a service like ours. You can find more information here on our different plans and we have a 100% money back guarantee if we can’t help you verify someone’s identity.
Step#2: Remove All Information & Don’t Give Them Money
You want to make sure that you don’t send them any information or incriminating pictures. Make sure you block them from your social accounts and change your settings to ensure privacy. Also, make sure you don’t send anyone money. There are many scams where people coerce others into falling for them emotionally so, they’ll feel obligated to help them out when they claim to need it.
If you’ve given them money:
Don’t stop contact with them right away. Call the police first. They will file a report. We’ve had people who have been able to get back some of their money and the police have been able to track scammers down (this doesn’t happen often, though).
Step #3: Report The Internet Scam
If someone is trying to take money from you and attempting to commit cyber fraud, it’s most likely a good idea to report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency and also the site where this took place (eg. a dating site, social networking site or forum). Here are the following places that you can report cyber crimes, impersonation and online fraud:
- You can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center here to report fraud or cyber crimes. They work with the FBI and will investigate the fraud.
- For Facebook, you can contact report a fake account here, or online scams, phishing here.
- For Twitter, you can report an account for impersonation here and online fraud here.
- For dating sites and forums, you can usually find a ‘report’ button on the person’s profile page. These types of sites should really have a reporting section but, they don’t so, you’ll have to look around.
- If you’ve already given them money and haven’t severed ties, contact the police immediately. The police will instruct you on what the next best steps are.
Step #4. Be Cautious in The Future
In the future, make sure you’re cautious about accepting invites and personal messages from people you don’t know. Those typically aren’t legitimate. Also, don’t give out personal information, make sure you involve friends or family when meeting up with someone you’ve met online. Make sure you keep your guard up until you’re able to verify someone’s identity. Most of the time this can be done through a reverse lookup.
Now that you have everything you need to combat online scammers, you can go out there and meet people safely. Do you have any more tips for us? Leave a comment below.